The “Jerky” Boy

Here is Ray Preston’s interview with Michael J. Fox. Watch them:

In the second clip, Fox exhibits a level of maturity, and, given his condition, a deal of courage that eludes my friends on the right:

“For those who still have thought about it, considered it, and prayed on it, and put a lot of emotion into it and they still come up on the side where they are not in favor of it, that’s America, I love that, I respect that, that is sort of what Democracy is all about, and those people are going to vote for Senator Talent.”

His life and career devastated by the illness, he is willing to submit to the democratic process. For that willingness to work within the system, he is met by sneers, jeers, and accusations. Here is Dan Riehl (I am not sending him any traffic, so no link):

Shake, Rattle and Rolling Into November

Yes, one of the Jerky Boyz, Michael J. Fox supports McCaskill. Allah has the video and Dean Barnett weighs in here. Hell, I’m not even opposed to stem cell research, however I am against public funding because I respect people who see it as a valid moral issue. What I can’t respect is displacing science with emotion on issues of national import, something Fox deliberately set out to do – so I don’t feel a need to worship at his scientifically shaky position, just now.

Rush Limbaugh:

“This is really shameless, folks. This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting, one of the two,” Limbaugh said.

“He is an actor, after all,” Rush said later.

“He is exaggerating the effects of the disease,” Limbaugh told listeners. “He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act.”

“This is the only time I’ve ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has,” Limbaugh said. “He can barely control himself.”

Here is National Review’s K-LO, defending Rush:

Rush said what doctors and other experts were saying off the record on Monday when the news of the Michael J. Fox ads were fresh to the election buzzlines: That it looked like he must have laid off his medication to make sure viewers would have a worse-day kinda look at life with Parkinson’s. As Limbaugh has pointed out, Fox admitted he does such things (like when testifying before a congressional committee) in his memoir. I knew this because I watched the E True Hollywood Story on Fox (true story, alas). That’s not to say that he doesn’t suffer — he obviously does. But the hard-to-watch Fox ads we’ve seen this week were, like most political ads, made in Spin City.

Michael J. Fox is advocating for his cause, and, even though it is slowly killing him, is willing to work within the political process to try to achieve an end which will never help him, but might help others. His opponents find that threatening, and have chosen to attack him, smearing him as a fake and a fraud, poking fun at the symptoms of the disease that is killing him and questioning his honesty and integrity, solely so they can retain political power.

Which side of this do you choose to be associated with? Is this a question decent people even need to think about?

*** Update ***

Even the Superficial has decided it is necessary to take a break from posting semi-nude pics of Lindsay Lohan to call Limbaugh an asshole:

And then he drove down to the local hospital and yelled at a bunch of patients for being liars. That guy with cerebral palsy who keeps twitching? Liar! That guy who got shot three times in the stomach who keeps bleeding? Liar! They’re all liars. And there’s only one man brave enough to stand up for truth and justice and all that is right: Batman! But he was off fighting a giant mechanical spider or something so they called in Rush Limbaugh.






48 replies
  1. 1
    Pb says:

    Yeah, I saw that on Riehl’s site–does anyone know what’s with that ‘larry’ guy over there? Is he a regular, or a spoof? Either way, he’s totally crazy, much like Rush.

  2. 2
    Dan says:

    This attack on Michael J Fox is just so disgusting. Why can’t they just debate the bill, why do they constantly have to take shots at people. The guy HAS Parkinson’s for GOD’s sake. Whether he shakes a little or shakes a lot shouldn’t even be a freakin’ question. Fox has more character,heart and decency than those making fun of him ever had…yet THEY profess to be Christians? My GOD doesn’t make fun of the disabled.

    And when will somebody in power on the Republican side finally step up and say what Joseph Welch said to McCarthy, Seriously, do these people have any sense of decency? ANY?

  3. 3
    J Bean says:

    So which doctor thought that MJF had “laid off” his medicine? Bill Frist? Surely it wasn’t anyone who actually knew anything about Parkinson’s. If you don’t take your meds, you freeze up. I’m just a humble primary care doc and I know that.

  4. 4
    John D. says:

    So which doctor thought that MJF had “laid off” his medicine?

    Oh my God, a know-nothing pundit is making shit up again. Shock. Has K-Lo ever said anything worth reading?

    Seriously, I’m not sure how we can fix this disease of punditry, but goddamn, is it ever poisoning public discourse. It’s like America has turned into Wikipedia — anyone can say anything, and be mistaken for an authoritative source.

    People haven’t caught on to Limbaugh, so I doubt it *can* be fixed.

  5. 5
    Pb says:

    So which doctor thought that MJF had “laid off” his medicine?

    Well, Rush probably does know a lot about self-medication, but that’s not really the same as knowing about the practice of medicine.

  6. 6
    Pb says:

    It’s like America has turned into Wikipedia

    No, I’m pretty sure that fact checking does take place on Wikipedia, now and then.

  7. 7
    Jon H says:

    The worst thing about the “he laid off the meds” slur is that it’s really rather irrelevant. Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, and Fox is a young man. It’d only be a matter of time before that’s how he is *on* meds.

  8. 8
    Mr Furious says:

    John,

    I’ve been on vacation and I missed out on all the threads over the last 8 days or so, so let me sum up here…

    Great work. Seriously. You have written some outstanding stuff lately, and I’m glad you are not being shy about your “conversion of necessity.”

    I really believe you will display your “I voted” sticker with an extra spring in your step this year.

  9. 9
    sglover says:

    The state of “conservatism”, 2006: Covering up for pederasts and making jokes about physical disabilities are all part of civil discourse.

  10. 10
    Nikki says:

    Has any doctor stepped up to confirm Rush’s diagnosis?

  11. 11
    sglover says:

    Has any doctor stepped up to confirm Rush’s diagnosis?

    After all, Rush knows a lot about how a doctor can help a brother out when he’s hurting.

  12. 12
    Demdude says:

    It always kills me that the wingnuts will go on and on about celebrities airing their opinions.

    They have no problems with Arnold in California, Chartlon Heston, etc . They trott their folks out with no problem.

    I think they are just jealous because their celebrities suck.

  13. 13
    ThymeZone says:

    I am interrupting my medical leave from the blogs to say this: I have always considered Rush Limbaugh to be a pig, a disgrace to humanity, and not one thing he has ever said or done in the last 14 years has caused me to reconsider that opinion. This thing does not surprise me, but even for him, it’s low. He has so little regard for the truth that he couldn’t have taken a day to research the facts and ascertain whether his “criticism” was appropriate?

    Then why in the world would anyone ever take his advice on any subject whatever, under any circumstances?

    But the main reason I write with a stick held in my teeth today (not really) is to say, good work John.

  14. 14
    Steve says:

    Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, and Fox is a young man. It’d only be a matter of time before that’s how he is on meds.

    That is how he is on meds, just not all the time. In fact, sometimes when he’s taking his meds he can be much worse than that.

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    Don’t Look Directly At the Parkinson’s Patient Off His Meds.

    In other news, Don’t Look Directly At Caskets Of Soldiers Killed In Iraq. Don’t Read Statics On the Increase In American Poverty In the Past 6 Years. Don’t Post Abu Garab or Gitmo Pictures In National Newspapers. Don’t Run Clips Of Drowned Bodies In New Orleans.

    Generally, don’t acknowledge anything that reflects poorly on the administration. It’s probably a Democratic trick to win in November.

  16. 16
    scarshapedstar says:

    Jerky boy. What a fucking piece of shit. I hope Dan gets cancer just so I can call him Baldy right before he dies.

  17. 17
    neil says:

    The reason Wikipedia works better than America is because not only Republicans are allowed to edit.

  18. 18
    mrmobi says:

    I have always considered Rush Limbaugh to be a pig, a disgrace to humanity, and not one thing he has ever said or done in the last 14 years has caused me to reconsider that opinion. This thing does not surprise me, but even for him, it’s low.

    Well said, TZ, now back to your medical leave.
    John, some day there is again going to be a dialogue between well-intentioned progressives and well-intentioned conservatives which does not devolve into making fun of people with degenerative diseases. I promise.

    Thanks for your excellent work these past days.

  19. 19
    capelza says:

    Great post John…really one of your best and I agree comletely.

    Watching that interview is heartbreaking. Somehow seeing someone so young with this disease makes it even harder.

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    Jerky boy. What a fucking piece of shit. I hope Dan gets cancer just so I can call him Baldy right before he dies.

    What s/he said. What a sick, sick fuck he is. And this for a title:

    Shake, Rattle and Rolling Into November

    is one of the lowest, most vile and fundementially sick things I’ve read on blog.

  21. 21
    DennisK says:

    For more advanced Parkinson’s, think Muhammad Ali. The most recognizable athlete in the world through nearly three decades can barely talk, and walks only with tremendous effort. Michael J. Fox’s disease will eventually take him to the point where it will look as if it took every bit of strength in his body to squeeze out a phrase.

    Or maybe Rushbo thinks that Ali has been acting during every public sighting the past twelve years, or not taking his meds, or started off with a lower grade of physical fitness, or…

    It’s funny, I was able to watch MJF’s video and appreciate his sincerity. I couldn’t stomach Limbaugh’s brief mp3.

  22. 22
    Area Man says:

    One wonders what Rush would do if embryonic stem cells were suddenly the magic cure for opiate-induced deafness.

    If in fact he really IS deaf from ototoxicity and not just acting.

  23. 23
    Tsulagi says:

    I like the update. While those bereft of a brain will always find a home with Rush and Riehl, good to see they’re even making someone usually more focused on “celebrity gossip” and “rumors and conjecture” take notice. Damn, when The Superficial says you’re being an asshole and STFU, you’re in deep shit.

  24. 24
    Rex says:

    John, your link to K-LO is actually a link to Riehl.

  25. 25
    Tax Analyst says:

    Yeah, I went over to Riehl’s site…what a tasteless, moronic imbecile. The “off-the-record Doctor” K-Lo is quoting? yeah, it just HAD to be Frist…after all, Video Diagnosis of Diseases he knows Nothing About is his Specialty, isn’t it?

  26. 26
    jcricket says:

    As others have pointed out, the medicines actually give you the shakes. A stiff person with Parkinson’s is actually a person experiencing non-stop tremors. Eventually, as the medicine loses effectiveness, you get super-stiff (the tremors lock you up). See Muhammad Ali. The shaking represents the tremors at rest, oddly enough. I know that’s hard for simple-minded cretins like Dan Reihl and Limbaugh to get through their fucking skulls, but it’s the way the body works.

    Best thing I’ve read about Limbaugh:

    To prove his theory, Limbaugh should totally Fox perform his next ear surgery. Michael J. Fox would be like Zorro without all that unnecessary blade control.

  27. 27
    tBone says:

    Isn’t it convenient how Fox suddenly came down with a case of Parkinson’s just before the election? It’s time to subpoena Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to find out what they know about this.

    Seriously, how in the fuck can anyone listen to Rush for more than 30 seconds without becoming physically ill? In a just world, his drug abuse would have damaged the speech centers of his brain instead of his hearing.

  28. 28

    […] I won’t slip over into complete JohnCole-ism, but the GOP leadership (including Rush Limbaugh) seem to be in an odd denialist, self-reinforcing bubble. Normally, it wouldn’t take a political genius to figure out that kicking a sick guy just looks bad. […]

  29. 29
    tBone says:

    Off topic, but here’s another obvious faker who will probably be doing campaign ads for the Defeatocrats soon.

  30. 30
    raj says:

    It’s clearly time to start hectoring Rush Lamebrain’s advertisers over this. It’s amazing that they would not be embarrased to be associated with him. Maybe it would be possible to make them feel embarrassed to be associated with them, much like StopDrLaura.com a few years ago made “Dr” Laura Schlessinger’s advertisers feel embarrassed about being associated with her.

  31. 31
    scs says:

    think Anne Coulter has a point about the Left trotting out victims so that they are unassailable to criticism. To treat even questioning whether Michael J Fox would allow his symptoms to be unmedicated as such a horrible thing, comparable to starving puppies, when Fox even WROTE that he did that, is strange, and typical. Advocates are advocating a position that is most likely controversial, or they wouldn’t have to “advocate it”, it would just be an ‘accepted’ position. Yeah it’s tough, and it’s rude, but it’s an inevitable side effect of advocacy, and public advocates should be able to take the heat to help further the debate. Michael J Fox is obviously tough, or he wouldn’t have been so active all these years.

  32. 32
    Pb says:

    think Anne Coulter has a point about the Left trotting out victims so that they are unassailable to criticism

    No, and that’s never stopped her, either, even when her point and the criticism in question is obviously false and offensive, which it generally is.

  33. 33
    Tom in Texas says:

    think Anne Coulter has a point about the Left trotting out victims so that they are unassailable to criticism.

    Quite possibly my favorite argument yet:

    “We aren’t allowed to criticize these unAmerican traitorous babykillers who fake symptoms for diseases they already have.”

    Of course one tactic might be to refute the Jersey Girl’s arguments instead of assaulting the inassailable, but Coulter’s too smart for that. She just accuses their dead husbands of seeking a divorce. Sure she’s right on there — and she’s so brave for ignoring the PC mantra that says you can’t accuse a war widow’s husband of hating her.

    To repeat for those who missed it, MJ Fox was obviously on meds. If he hadn’t been, he would have appeared completely rigid, rather than spastic.

    Additionally the issue is not whether or not MJ Fox was acting, much as some wish it was. The issue is whether or not we should restrict stem cell research. This is an issue the fundies are hugely unpopular on, so they have to turn the entire issue into another Hollywood boogeyman.

    Why can’t we simply have a waiver form that mothers sign when their eggs are harvested allowing them to choose whether or not their eggs can be used for testing? Similar to a release form one signs allowing their organs to be harvested. That way parents who sincerely believe stem cell research is immoral can choose to not take part and throw their eggs away if they wish, like any good Christian would.

  34. 34

    Election ’06 – 13 Days Till Nov. 7 (October 26, 2006)

    [This post will be updated throughout the day; scroll down for more stories] News Democrats lead in latest poll: Democrats have an 11-point edge, 44 percent to 33 percent, when voters are asked which party’s candidate they will support, up…

  35. 35
    Fred Beloit says:

    You ladies and gentlemen are actally making Rush’s and Coulter’s point. That point is liberals use victims (emotion winners) to try to make policy arguments so that anyone who disagrees will be seen as mean-spirited. Read your own posts for heaven’s sake. By the way Mr. Fox in his own book admits he stopped taking his meds before he testified before the Senate a couple of years ago.

  36. 36
    Otto Man says:

    What disease does Dan Riehl suffer from? Whatever it is, it apparently enlarges your asshole.

  37. 37
    Krista says:

    What a bunch of sick assholes. If they don’t agree with federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, then why don’t they argue their point and provide some facts, like big boys and girls? Instead, they’re accusing a guy (who, by all accounts, is a genuinely decent human being), of exaggerating his condition for political purposes.

    And you know what? Even if he WAS…it’s completely irrelevant to the matter at hand. Even if HIS Parkinson’s isn’t that bad, other Parkinson’s patients DO have it that bad…or worse. He’s not the only one out there with this condition, and it’s a condition that is killing people, and there is a promising field of scientific research that could someday lead to a cure, and wingnuts want to stifle that research because heaven forbid that any embryos from fertility clinics be put to good use, as opposed to being incinerated, right?

    Jesus fucking wept.

  38. 38
    RightWing-WingNut says:

    Actually Krista, we do argue against embryonic stem cell research – it kills a human being.

    Missouri has NOT RESTRICTIONS on ESCR – NONE.

    Finally, the content of the add is a complete fabrication – a lie. The issue under consideration is cloning, not ESCR.

    So, if MJF wants to enter the political arena, let him do it with facts, not lies.

    As for his disease – he has my sympathies. But, his own testimony before Congress, in his own words, would indicate he goes off meds to assist him in making his point.

    And, as for ESCR itself, there have been NO CURES even seen on the horizon where over 70 cures have been affected with adult stem cells. That is where the efforts should be.

  39. 39
    Bombadil says:

    Keith Olbermann (may his camel spit nothing but dates!) has the visual of the Big Fat Idiot spewing his sewage. (via Crooks & Liars).

    As bad as Limbaugh sounds, it’s even worse when you see his body language.

  40. 40

    See a tongue-in-cheek visual that gives Rush Limbaugh a dose of his own medicine…here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  41. 41
    jcricket says:

    And, as for ESCR itself, there have been NO CURES even seen on the horizon where over 70 cures have been affected with adult stem cells. That is where the efforts should be.

    If I hear this bogus non-argument from non-scientists one more fucking time I’m going to lose it. You have absolutely zero business proclaiming yourself or other partisans as the “deciders” of what lines of basic science research are worth pursuing. That’s never been your place, and never should be.

    Everything the scientific community says is that ESC research holds as much or more promise as adult stem cell research. The research is in its infancy, unlike adult stem cells (which have about a 20 year head start), which is why you don’t see current therapies from ESC research. If you stop the research now, you’re just guaranteeing that.

    I’ll take the word of the international scientific community over you, any day. If they investigate something that turns out to be a dead end, they’ll abandon it and move to something else. You’ll go to your grave insisting Iraq had WMD, Plan B is an abortion pill and that there’s no torture going on in Gitmo because changing your mind is a sign of weakness to you.

    You know you’re on the losing end of this argument. I’m happy to let you wear it as an anchor around your party’s neck, dragging you down along with opposition to contraception, IVF, gay civil rights + the support of torture. But fuck you if you think I’m letting you decide what science is worth pursuing.

  42. 42
    sglover says:

    You ladies and gentlemen are actally making Rush’s and Coulter’s point. That point is liberals use victims (emotion winners) to try to make policy arguments so that anyone who disagrees will be seen as mean-spirited. Read your own posts for heaven’s sake. By the way Mr. Fox in his own book admits he stopped taking his meds before he testified before the Senate a couple of years ago.

    It’s nothing new. Go back 150 years or so, and you can find all sorts of emotional twaddle from meddling abolitionists. They never had the intellectual integrity to argue about slavery on the merits. Instead, they’d insist on cranking out sob stories about the supposed pain of the lash, the alleged heartbreak of families being split up, and so on. Of course, they never bothered to answer the irrefutable argument that since by law each slave was only 3/5 of a person, their “pain” could never be more than 60% of what a citizen might suffer — and therefore not that bad, by any rational measure.

    Yup, Fred, you really hit the nail on the head: Liberals always dredge up “emotion winners”.

  43. 43
    Tax Analyst says:

    Another point to make: Fox KNOWS that even with stepped up research it is highly doubtful any breakthroughs will occur and pass all the stages of testing and approval to actually reach current Parkinson’s patients of his age. His efforts are clearly aimed at preventing suffering in FUTURE generations. The FUTURE…you know, the Legacy we leave behind…after our own self-interested existences come to a close. But at present the Right doesn’t give a shit about future generations, do they? Need an example? “Spiraling Deficit? Fuck it, not gonna be my problem, let ‘Junior’ pay for it.”

  44. 44

    […] There still seems to be a significant amount of chatter concerning Michael J. Fox and the stem cell issue. Here is a recent interview of fox presented by balloon juice. […]

  45. 45
    Inactivist says:

    Cy was, unfortunately, no actor

    Grandpa Cy (for Cyril), my Mom’s dad, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he was 45-years-old, in the same year in which I, his first of eight grandchildren, was born. Grandpa died from this horrific affliction when I was 15.

  46. 46
    J. Michael Neal says:

    One of the interesting things is that, contrary to the insinuations and accusations, Fox actually looks better in the 30 second spot than he does in the ten minute interview. The shaking is about the same, but his voice is much clearer and his diction much less strained. It seems pretty obvious to me that he was doing his best to look as good as possible, rather than as poorly.

    scs is clearly out to lunch on the whole “He went off his meds to testify to Congress, and even admitted it in his book” argument. Fox explicitly said in his testimony that he was off his medication in order to give the congressmen a better view of his disease. Far from covering it up, that was his point. I have no clue how, because he has done that at one time and been absolutely up front about it means that we ought to be questioning whether he’s doing it surreptitiously now.

  47. 47

    […] And another thing.  I forgot to start watching a TV show that I hate and talk about it on my web log after each episode.  One of the reasons for this is that the entire internet is already like that.  The show is <i>THIS MORTAL COIL</i>, and we are being tortured off of it, some more literally than others.  Tomorrow: last minute ideas for Halloween.  No worries, Dan Riehl, you can go as yourself. […]

  48. 48

    […] only thing missing from the speech the bumbling ignorant fool delivered yesterday was an attack on Michael J. Fox and stem cell research. Or maybe she could have attacked Arlen Specter as being a baby killer for embracing stem-cell […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] only thing missing from the speech the bumbling ignorant fool delivered yesterday was an attack on Michael J. Fox and stem cell research. Or maybe she could have attacked Arlen Specter as being a baby killer for embracing stem-cell […]

  2. […] And another thing.  I forgot to start watching a TV show that I hate and talk about it on my web log after each episode.  One of the reasons for this is that the entire internet is already like that.  The show is <i>THIS MORTAL COIL</i>, and we are being tortured off of it, some more literally than others.  Tomorrow: last minute ideas for Halloween.  No worries, Dan Riehl, you can go as yourself. […]

  3. Inactivist says:

    Cy was, unfortunately, no actor

    Grandpa Cy (for Cyril), my Mom’s dad, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he was 45-years-old, in the same year in which I, his first of eight grandchildren, was born. Grandpa died from this horrific affliction when I was 15.

  4. […] There still seems to be a significant amount of chatter concerning Michael J. Fox and the stem cell issue. Here is a recent interview of fox presented by balloon juice. […]

  5. Election ’06 – 13 Days Till Nov. 7 (October 26, 2006)

    [This post will be updated throughout the day; scroll down for more stories] News Democrats lead in latest poll: Democrats have an 11-point edge, 44 percent to 33 percent, when voters are asked which party’s candidate they will support, up…

  6. […] I won’t slip over into complete JohnCole-ism, but the GOP leadership (including Rush Limbaugh) seem to be in an odd denialist, self-reinforcing bubble. Normally, it wouldn’t take a political genius to figure out that kicking a sick guy just looks bad. […]

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